Can Shapewear Help Burn Fat?

If you're looking for a quick weight-loss fix, you might be tempted to splurge on high-tech products that claim to burn away fat quickly and easily. As the obesity epidemic spreads across the country, the health and fitness industries continue developing new ideas to help you lose weight, burn fat and tone your muscles. Fat-burning shapewear is one of the newer developments that claim to help you melt away those extra pounds.

Fat-burning shapewear can hide your unsightly lumps and bumps. (Image: nito100/iStock/Getty Images)

Pick Your Style

Fat-burning active wear is available in a wide variety of styles, from sleeved shirts to tank tops, shorts, pants, tights and undergarments. These high-tech fitness clothes feature resistance bands sewn directly into the fabric. These bands are strategically placed inside the clothes to apply pressure and resistance against specific muscle groups. Whenever you engage those muscles -- either through exercise or daily activities -- the built-in resistance bands require the muscles to work harder. As a result, you burn more calories and increase your body's fat-burning abilities.

The Results Are In

As of March 2011, there is no concrete scientific evidence that suggests fat-burning shapewear actually works. Shapewear manufacturer ShaToBu claims that a University of Virginia study found that wearing the toning shapewear helps you burn 12 percent more calories than you would otherwise. However, MSN's Fitbie website explains that the University of Virginia study was funded by ShaToBu, so the study could have been a bit biased. The idea behind the high-tech sportswear isn't unreasonable. If the resistance bands actually place enough pressure against the muscles, it could certainly result in a higher calorie-burning session. However, don't count on it producing substantial results.

Healthy Habits

Rather than relying on your clothes to help you burn fat or lose weight, your best bet is to make small lifestyle changes that encourage healthy habits. Visit the gym five days per week for at least 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training. Aim for at least two or three 30-minute strength-training sessions per week, as well. Modify your diet to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and healthy fats, such as those offered by nuts and seeds. And if you want to burn a few extra calories per day, you might as well wear the slimming shapewear as you move about your day. Whether you're running errands, doing housework or tapping your feet under your desk at work, burning a few extra calories never hurts.


Even if slimming shapewear doesn't help you burn a tremendous amount of fat, it can give you a slimmer appearance. Just like compression clothing, fat-burning shapewear hugs the body tight. As a result, it enhances your body shape by holding in loose skin and unsightly bulges.

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